A friend who’s diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, aka SF, kindly agreed to be interviewed for the Newsletter. Here are the results.
At like +4 and dip as low as -10 at the end of the day.
Tell me about when you were diagnosed.
Do you recognise experiencing a manic episode at the time?
when you’re or depressive
I was diagnosed with it 6 years ago, but one of my social workers a few years ago thought I’d had it since 14. My life has definitely been a series of highs and lows. I’ve read bipolar usually follows a tragic event and this happened to me. 6 years ago there was a house fire destroying my house and possessions, but everyone managed to get out safely. I was ill for 6 months afterwards, very depressed. I was almost diagnosed with fibromyalgia, because depression caused physical aches and pains. When it was noticed the depression alternated with mania I was diagnosed with Bipolar.
Sometimes. When I’m depressed I can’t do anything but cry, be moody and withdrawn, but I know I’m doing something wrong because people are concerned. I know I’m having a depressive episode more because of the way other people act towards me. But, I recognize the feelings too, I need constant reassurance and suffer low self esteem, constantly criticising myself. I don’t recognise mania, because of high self esteem I can’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want to go along with me, I feel like I’m normal and that others are like this normally too. What treatment do you receive? For bipolar I take Trifluoperazine, it helps stop aggression and anger in particular. Zopiclone helps me sleep at night. I also take Diazepam as a sleeping tablet and for when I’m too hyper or depressed. I take drugs for epilepsy too, which can be difficult as many medications interact with them and give me fits.
What symptoms experience?
Personally I range between hypomania and severe depression. Hypomania ranges from feelings of grandeur, total overconfidence, thinking I’m ‘all that’, rushing round, cleaning constantly and feeling like a super mum. A lot of people who experience mania have problems with 3 things – alcohol & drugs, gambling or sexual problems. Depression for me is thinking about taking my life, some people cut themselves or take an overdose. I get feelings of being desolate and very barren, I get so wound up with being upset I can’t explain the feeling to others. In a normal day, on a scale of -10 to +10, your mood can start
Do you get any professional help? I see a psychiatrist, a social worker from Hewitt house and someone trained in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). The CBT is every 2 weeks, the psychiatrist about every 2 months and I can phone the social worker every time I feel I can’t control my mood, or anytime I need